Karl Lagerfeld: ‘What I hate most is flip-flops, I am physically allergic to flip-flops’

These are some photos of Karl Lagerfeld enjoying himself at some events a few days ago during Paris Fashion Week. He looks… like Karl. Unfortunately for all of us. Karl did not bring Choupette out for Paris Fashion Week… I’m actually wondering if Karl isn’t a bit disturbed by Kim Kardashian’s fluffy kitty Mercy, and how Kim and Kanye seem to be copying him. But Karl knows that we still love to hear from him, so he gave an interview to a men’s quarterly magazine called M. Karl discusses his mother, his hair, and why he hates tattoos. It’s all pretty much classic Karl. Some highlights:

He uses Dior Homme instead of a scale to gauge weight gain:
I never had one button retouched [of Dior Homme]. It’s better than any bathroom scale, huh? Clothes tell the truth.

His thoughts on fitness:
Fitness is as boring as sickness as a subject.

He once almost froze to death because he didn’t have the coat he wanted:
I remember one time in winter in 1956–it was beyond cold. And I went to see my father at the George V with only a suit on…He said to me, “But you will die! You will get pneumonia!” And I said, “I prefer to die than to wear another coat than the robe style in blue cashmere in the Dorian Gray window. If not that one, I prefer to freeze.” So he bought the coat.

On how he arrived at his current hairdo:
When I was tired of the fashion for long, curly hair–because my hair was curly-I started to attach it. It was in 1976. So that means that I have had the ponytail for 35 or 36 years! Not bad, no? It’s the easiest hairdo. I’m not very gifted for hairdos. I don’t like gel and all those products. It’s perfect with this white powder, because my hair is not that white at all.

Non-handmade shirts are torture:
If you’re accustomed to a handmade shirt by Hilditch, a ready-bought shirt is like wearing some torture stuff.

His mom gave him a hat complex:
The other thing that doesn’t work on me is a hat. I love hats, in a way, but when I was a child, I’d wear Tyrolean hats, and my mother–I was something like eight–said to me, ‘You shouldn’t wear hats. You look like an old d-ke.’ Do you say such things to children? She was quite funny, no?

He’s not a fan of tattoos:
I think tattoos are horrible. It’s like living in a Pucci dress full-time. If you’re young and tight, maybe it’s OK, but…

He has physical footwear allergies:
I hate sloppy footwear. What I hate most is flip-flops. I am physically allergic to flip-flops.

He didn’t want to build a big empire, and isn’t interested in money (huh?):
I never wanted to build a big empire. I am too superficial for that. I like the sketching, but I don’t want any responsibility for people. I don’t want to look at numbers. I know how to spend, I know how to make for my private use, but I am not interested to make money in terms of a company.

On whether he has guilt about how much he spends on clothes:
Gilded, OK. Guilt, no.

He wears cut out gloves to make his arm longer (and you know what that means…):
Because in the old protocol, it is impolite to say hello to somebody who is wearing gloves. And you know I cannot sketch if I have leather here [on my fingertips]. It also makes the arm longer. And you know what it means in French to have a long arm? It means you are influential.

And finally, he gives himself manicures:
I hate manicures. I do them myself. I’m pretty good at it. I cannot stand someone touching my fingers.

[From M Magazine, via Fashionista]

The fact that his mother told him he looked like an “old d-ke” explains quite a bit about Ol’ Karl, doesn’t it? But my favorite statement is, “I think tattoos are horrible. It’s like living in a Pucci dress full-time. If you’re young and tight, maybe it’s OK, but…” Only the “young and tight” can have tattoos. He sounds like a villain Mike Meyers created. As for flip-flops… well, I live in flip-flops. So Karl would hate me. Of course.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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74 Responses to “Karl Lagerfeld: ‘What I hate most is flip-flops, I am physically allergic to flip-flops’”

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  1. Amelia says:

    Teehee, had a crappy day so far and a bit of Karl always cheers me up.
    However, having grown up in the South West of England, spent time in Oz and South Africa, I live, eat and sleep in flip flops and board shorts.
    I’m pretty sure he’d have an aneurysm if he ever caught sight of my ‘style’.
    I do gauge my weight by how my clothes fit, though. After a particularly unhealthy relationship with numbers and scales, I find it best to listen to what my favourite t-shirt and wetsuit tell me ^^

  2. vale says:

    Uh, well. I agree with him about the tattoos, the flip flops, the fitness and the shirts as a weight gauge. Does that make me superficial and awesomely delusional as Karl?

  3. whipmyhair says:

    Oh Karl, never come to Australia.You’ll go anaphylaxtic.

  4. celine says:

    oh, i just love you karl.

  5. supervisor says:

    i agree with his feelings on tattoos and flip flops. flip flops are only ok if you are getting in or out of the shower or hanging out by the pool. but other than that- they are lazy and gross.
    broads where those damned things until late fall and it gets too cold all the time i will see chicks walking around in those things and i can see their heels and feet are all black from dirt and crud that has collected from walking around in flip flops. then they switch to those equally ugly ugg boots. too many women have gotten too damned lazy with their style.

    • Shitler says:

      You sound like a mini Karl

    • Bubbling says:

      haha :) bold, I like it

      • Isa says:

        Are the heels of their feet hanging off the back? Are they walking through mud? I wear flip flops but my feet don’t accumulate crud.

    • videli says:

      Yes, but the flip flops will always triumph! It is indeed the lure of laziness, and comfort, and I don’t give a damn. I used to live in Europe and I was wearing my 5-inch heels even when taking the trash out. No more! I still rock the heels from time to time, but I live by the beach, so there’s no way I’m not wearing flip flops. They also double as dog toys.

    • Lucy says:

      I have to agree with you on the flip flops…the Ugg boots however, living in Canada where it gets -30C and 4 feet of snow there is nooooway to get away with wearing stylish shoes in the winter rubber boots/uggs/ugly waterproof boots are the only thing you can really move around in.

    • irishserra says:

      My husband has always said the same thing. We’ve been married for almost 13 years and I’ve never donned a pair of flip-flops because of his aversion… Until now. I went on vacation with a girlfriend a month ago and I bought myself a pair of flip-flops. These ones are so cushy and comfy I wear them all around the house, although I don’t go outside in them. When I really want to agitate my dear hubby, I flip them hard when I walk to make that clip-clop noise.

    • Isla says:

      @supervisor – I think we might just be kindred spirits. My thoughts to the tee.

    • HulaHoop says:


      Also, flip-flops are only acceptable in casual situations in the summer when one’s feet are properly maintained.

    • B says:


      Just be thankful that you don’t have to massage those nasty, crud-caked feet for a living.

      And I agree about laziness-it’s gotten to the point where jeans and flip-flops are seen as appropriate for everything from funerals to a night at the opera. I often moon after beautiful gowns, but where could you possibly wear one? It saddens me.

      • UNF Joan Jett! says:

        What? Where are you living? I need to move there, too! (Jeans @ opera seem like ultimate badass-ness)

  6. Hannah says:

    I hate flip-flops, too. That noise they make when you walk in them drives me up the effin’ wall!! They’re not shoes. If you can make it at home, it’s not a shoe!

  7. effy says:

    Well i am allergic to his looks.
    what a creepy, weird looking creature.
    he looks like a character from an epic movie ( a dark one), ha.

    As per tatoos, i agree 100%.

  8. Jessica says:

    Hahahahahha. Karl! I love flip-flops and I love you!

  9. BW says:

    OK, as crazy as he is, I’m actually with him on the flip flops, tattoos, fitness, etc.

    So, he powders his hair just like in the 1700′s? Interesting. I didn’t know they still made that stuff, with LEAD.

    He’s lying about the gloves, though. He wears them for the same reason Madonna does. To cover up the wrinkly, veiny, old lady hands. It’s the same with his custom shirts. The collars are high to hide his neck wattle.

  10. SueD says:

    I had no idea he put powder in his hair every day.

  11. Lilalis says:

    Haha, some time ago he said people who leave their houses wearing sweatpants have lost control over their lives. And now the flip flops… I hope he never has to see me on the street! :D

  12. Sam says:

    Ugh what a pretentious douche. You’d rather freeze than wear some overpriced coat? Tell that to homeless people who are actually freezing and would take any coat they could. This guy sucks.

  13. I.want.shoes says:

    Flip flops are not nearly as bad as Crocs.

    • RuddyZooKeeper says:

      Ahhh, Crocs. When they banned them at my kids’ school I secretly cheered. Sure they’re comfy, but they’re death to naturally clumsy people and make your feet look trollish.
      And $2 flip flops belong at the pool, not the gas station. Gross.

    • gg says:

      right? He forgets he’s already glorified Crocs. He’s going to wind up like Galliano if he doesn’t shut up soon.

  14. Beatrice says:

    What better way to start off a rainy Monday than with quotes from Karl? He’s awesome. Whether you agree with him or not (and I do about the flip flops and tats), it’s great to find someone who isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. The only thing that would make this post better is Choupette.

  15. MaryJo says:

    Well, most flip-flops I know are severely allergic to Karl.

  16. TK says:

    Nice to see so much disdain for tattoos and flip flops on here :( BOO!
    I love and have many tattoos and wear flip flops on a regular basis. I live in FL, its a necessity, but I also take good care of my feet (no one likes crusty heels!)

    As for Karl, hes such a weirdo. I’m still trying to decide if its the good kind, or the bad kind…

    • Johanna says:

      More power to you! Who cares what Karl or the people who agree with his ridiculous thoughts thinks? I bet you look awesome wearing those $2 flip flops over his entire overpriced outfit.

    • UNF Joan Jett! says:

      Tattoos are expensive and painfull and a-w-e-s-o-m-e!

  17. dcypher1 says:

    I luv flip flops. Im sure he could design sum they would be fabulous and sell like hot cakes. K ur missing out on a $ million dollar idea.

  18. Micki says:

    Ok, I have to admit I hate it when s.o. wears a coat, scarf, ets, and flip-flops anf it’s a rainy day.I also think it’s a kind of sloppy look.

  19. dorothy says:

    And I’m allergic to senior citizens that wear gloves and printed pants.

    • Blank says:

      Eh don’t be ageist. He still works and has done a lot with his life. Why shouldn’t he give his opinions on clothes/shoes? He’s definitely earned the right.

  20. Saphana says:

    we only have them in the summer here but after a week of summer im already sick of them. especially the sound they make.

    oh and karls mother must have been a wild lady. he talks often about her and she must have influenced him big time.

  21. videli says:

    So all his life he was trying to out-crazy that hydra of a mother. In another interview he quote his mother saying he, Karl, should not smoke, because his hands are not beautiful enough.

    • JD says:

      Some interview he gave a while back, he had been molested by an older man when he was a young boy, and went home crying and told his mother what happened to him.
      She told him to look at the way he was dressed, and that he had asked for it because of the clothing he wore. Then told him to stop crying about it.

      Nice mom…(not)…

      • videli says:

        Whoa! I can almost picture a woman tragically resentful for being forced into motherhood, and taking it onto the son.

  22. Minty says:

    Karl lives in a gilded bubble. He really is the poster child for conceit and ostentation in the fashion industry. Looking at the big picture, I guess he’s entertaining in a harmless way, like a crazy grandfather.

    I agree with the tattoos and flip flops. If chosen carefully, tattoos can be works of art, but I’ve seen too many that look like graffiti. Some of those tatt sleeves look like discoloration from a skin disease. Skin is beautiful. There’s no need to cover MOST of it up with ink.

    Flip flops are perfect for the beach or poolside, except they cause foot problems. Podiatrists say that in order to wear them you have to grip them between your toes in an unnatural way. I’ll stick to sandals in the summer.

    He’s lying about the gloves. Of course he’s using them to cover his aged hands. You’re almost 80. Isn’t it time to let go of such insecurities and be proud that you’re a survivor?

    He doesn’t want an empire? I call bullsh-t. He wouldn’t be head of Chanel, creative director of Fendi, and have his own label if that were true. If he was sketching purely for pleasure, why run big fashion houses, which promote elitism as a way to make millions? Why doesn’t he retire and sells his sketches at a Parisian flea market instead?

  23. Merritt says:

    I hate agreeing with Lagerfeld, but he is right about flit flops. I detest flip flops. People wear them all year long even if it is freezing outside. And the sound they make is annoying.

    Podiatrists also recommend people limit the amount they wear flip flops. The increase in foot injuries has been credited to the increase in flip flops.

  24. Cathy says:

    If Karl doesn’t like my flip-flops then he doesn’t have to look at me wearing them. I live in flip-flops and sandals all summer long. Love them.

    • Samantha says:

      I totally agree with you. I love flip flops too.

      • Blank says:

        Does everyone have to get defensive about everything these days? If you wear $5 shoes then can you really complain when someone doesn’t like them? I would understand it stinging if you spent a fortune on pair but you didn’t. So why get upset?

  25. Adrien says:

    Karl is gonna flip-flop on his statement as soon as he realized he offended Caribbean people, Asians, Australians and Brazilians.

  26. irishserra says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:


  27. Lisa says:

    Me too, K-Diggity.

  28. Dap says:

    That’s only because you have ugly feet, Karl

  29. boo says:

    I love me some Karl, he’s a Virgo like me. He hates flip flops because he has hooves instead of feet silly people!

  30. Melissa says:

    His hair isn’t actually white? Yeah, sure Karl!

  31. ladybert62 says:

    I agree about flip-flops – the worlds MOST ANNOYING SHOE – and totally inappropriate for any office anywhere.

  32. Incredulous says:

    He dresses to look like a special guest star chicken hawk on SVU and I should listen to him? I think not.

  33. Havik says:

    I’d love to live in Karl’s delusional world where fashion is the only thing that dictates how you dress.

    Except I don’t. I live in Alaska, where the weather dictates how you dress. I’d love to be chic and fashionable, but I’m at the mercy of mother nature. And she doesn’t give a damn. Sorry, Karl.

  34. Eléonore says:

    As much as I like Chanel (mostly the handbags), that guy repulses me. He thinks he is better than anyone else and is completely full of himself…It is like his ego is literally skyrocketing. He is just so superficial. There are no words. I have nothing against the fashion industry, but it so sad how sometimes this industry put people on a pedestal while they don’t deserve it and make them relevant while they just don’t deserve to be. He never has anything interesting to say. Every time he opens his ugly old mouth, it is one superficial comment after the other. I am just sick of this man; I wish he could just fade into obscurity.

  35. Jill says:

    Im allergic to old men dressed like Willy Wonka with wiry, straw, fried white hair. I take my flip flops as opposed to his crazy look any day.

  36. Gracie says:

    I’ll wear what I please, and if Kunty Karl doesn’t like it, well, he is open to kiss my flip-flop lovin, readily-made shirt wearing a**. That said, he’s like a bitter old uncle, always complaining and rambling on about past wars and presidents, only in his case, style and Pippa Middleton.

  37. B says:

    I’m with Karl; flip-flops and tattoos are loathesome.

    Having said that, he just effectively alienated the tattooed and flip-flop loving masses…

  38. Laura says:

    I completely agree with Karl’s disdain for tattoos and flip flops. I cannot stand the noise that is made when someone is walking in flip flops. I also have zero desire to see other people’s bare feet as they often look dirty and scaly. Tattoos are just plain nasty — no matter what the reason for the ink, in my opinion, they are trashy and no longer make one “unique”. More like “one of the herd”. I loathe looking at young people covered in tattoos and piercings, people who clearly did not think of the long term consequences of morphing into a freak show. The tattoos fade and look distorted as one ages. I can only imagine how hideous some of these young people that are covered from head to toe in tattoos will look when they are old. There is NOTHING classy or elegant about tattoos.

    I know she is unpopular for various reasons, but I prefer the fashion sense of the Duchess of Cambridge. She does not appear to have a single tattoo nor does she prance about in lazy looking attire. She looks clean, classy, elegant, and like someone who puts a significant amount of thought into the image she presents to the world outside her house. I can appreciate and applaud her desire to dress and carry herself in a lady-like manner. (Yes, I know about the topless photos recently leaked of her – but she was with her husband in an environment she believed was completely private. It’s not really something I would do but I wouldn’t look down on her for it.)

    I think society needs a return to the times when men and women tried to look their best at all times (when out in public.) When looking classy meant something and people were not so lazy and when looking trashy was seen as a negative, not as the popular trend it is now.

    • ladybert62 says:

      I am with you Laura!!!!

    • Gracie says:

      Good thing people have this thing called free will, meaning they can do what THEY want to THEIR bodies, or dress how they please. If you don’t like tattoos, don’t get one. If you don’t like flip flops, don’t wear them. If other people wearing those things bother you, then simply look away.

  39. megan says:

    I have really mixed feelings about Lagerfeld. I guess the only way to not find him annoying is to remember that his opinions are completely irrelevant to everyone except less than1% of this earth. Like many a politician he is an out of touch dinosaur and his breed has pushed me away from fashion. When you meet people who live in shacks with no electricity and do hard physical labor until the day they die he seems like a fool living in a fantasy.

  40. Ella says:

    Why has no one pointed out that there’s a wide range of flip flops? There are the kind you can get for $2 at the drugstore, and then there are much nicer, cuter ones you can get from Reef or what have you. Not saying that the latter are high fashion by any means, but they’re real footwear, with arch support and everything. I have some that are pewter color with sparkly straps, and some that are zebra stripe with a small wedge heel … I wear them all the time in the summer, with cute capri pants or casual skirts. That’s not exactly the same as a person who goes around wearing $2 flip flops with sweat pants and doesn’t take fashion into consideration at all … flip flops can be a gray area!

    Oh, and if the issue is having nasty scaly feet, as some have mentioned, that would be a problem even if you were wearing some expensive, strappy heels. Any shoes that show parts of your bare feet should require decent foot hygiene and a pedicure … that’s just common sense.

  41. MG says:

    I live in flip flops…and I have a tattoo on my foot…so… Karl would probably pass out at the sight of my feet….but I do get pedi’s often so my feet look nice..lol. Most of my flip flops are more stylish, not the foamy beach kind…but I have some of those too. They are just soooo comfortable. As for the tattoos, if I could go back I time I wouldn’t get it. I don’t hate it and its easy enough to hide…when I wear something other than flip flops…but, now that I’m in my late thirties (ugh, I don’t like the sound of that, my bday is Sat., 37 is late thirties right?) I’d rather not have a tattoo. AND…I just moved up North and bought the ugliest pair of UGG clogs….but they are so warm and comfortable! It’s all about comfort!

  42. The Original Vee says:

    Summer 2012, as well as Cruise seasons past, Chanel offered a couple of flip-flops.
    I’ve actually personally interviewed Karl for a newspaper a couple of years ago. He was not
    a snob. He was patient and unpretentious.

  43. savedbykittylitter says:

    The pants uncle Karl is wearing are probably what Johnny Depp would wear these days…
    Incredibly I agree with uncle Karl, yeah sometimes he sounds like a batsh**t crazy person but he has a good point here, about the tattos… I have a love/hate relationship with flip-flops…